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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

HAX-1 overexpression, splicing and cellular localization in tumors

Alicja Trebinska, Alina Rembiszewska, Karolina Ciosek, Konrad Ptaszynski, Sebastian Rowinski, Jolanta Kupryjanczyk, Janusz A Siedlecki and Ewa A Grzybowska*

Author Affiliations

Cancer Center Institute, Roentgena 5, 02-781 Warsaw, Poland

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:76  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-76

Published: 2 March 2010

Abstract

Background

HAX-1 has been described as a protein potentially involved in carcinogenesis and especially metastasis. Its involvement in regulation of apoptosis and cell migration along with some data indicating its overexpression in cancer cell lines and tumors suggests that HAX-1 may play a role in neoplastic transformation. Here we present the first systematic analysis of HAX-1 expression in several solid tumors.

Methods

Using quantitative RT-PCR, we have determined the mRNA levels of HAX1 splice variant I in several solid tumors. We have also analyzed by semiquantitative and quantitative RT-PCR the expression of five HAX-1 splice variants in breast cancer samples and in normal tissue from the same individuals. Quantitative PCR was also employed to analyze the effect of estrogen on HAX1 expression in breast cancer cell line. Immunohistochemical analysis of HAX-1 was performed on normal and breast cancer samples.

Results

The results reveal statistically important HAX1 up-regulation in breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma, along with some minor variations in the splicing pattern. HAX-1 up-regulation in breast cancer samples was confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis, which also revealed an intriguing HAX-1 localization in the nuclei of the tumor cells, associated with strong ER status.

Conclusion

HAX-1 elevated levels in cancer tissues point to its involvement in neoplastic transformation, especially in breast cancer. The connection between HAX-1 nuclear location and ER status in breast cancer samples remains to be clarified.